Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years in order to produce the many unique breeds we have today. During that time, selective breeding by humans has also accidentally introduced a number of breed-specific genetic disorders. Canine Hip Dysplasia is one such genetic disorder. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that is caused by a malformed hip joint. If left unaddressed, hip dysplasia can cause pain and difficulty walking. Fortunately, veterinarians have developed a sophisticated means of evaluating a dog’s hip joint.

PennHIP – a multifaceted screening statistical method – has roots that go back to 1983, when Dr. Gail Smith of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine first developed his method for diagnosing canine hip dysplasia. PennHIP underwent multi-center clinical trials in 1993, and has since become very popular among select American veterinarians. Part of the reason why PennHIP is so popular is because it can identify a dog’s risk of hip dysplasia when the dog is as young as 16 weeks old!

PennHIP is currently in common use by a number of service-dog organizations such as the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army and many dog-guide schools. At present, there are about 2,000 trained and certified PennHIP members currently performing the procedure around the world.

To our knowledge the PennHIP program is the only objective screening program for canine hip dysplasia that is commercially available in the US with a database of its size and depth. Almost all of the other hip dysplasia screening methods rely on subjective expert interpretation and are thus open to all of the well-known cognitive biases and errors of human intuition.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is proud to be listed as an authorized PennHip evaluation center. Contact Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309, or Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney/Frisco at (972) 529-5033 to schedule your dog’s appointment today.